tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 11, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
06.11.12 06.11.12 >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i want to cuban side to go back to cuba and for alan gross to quebec home. i want an end to the financial, commercial, an economic blockade that violate the rights of the human -- cuban people. >> a rare interview with mariela castro, the daughter of cuban president roh castro. she calls on the u.s. to release five prisoners in the
u.s. who have been accused of spying on u.s.. we also talked about her fight for gay rights in cuba. she is a leading gay rights activist on the island. and then, will the real terrorist please stand up? >> what they do to us? they were disobedient in our hemisphere and they did not ask permission to take away property. they took away. they nationalized property. the u.s., on the one hand, has never forgiven them. >> saul landau on the history of the cuban five. today, they are allowed to live freely in the u.s. all that and more coming up.
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the top u.s. commander in afghanistan has ordered new restrictions on airstrikes targeting alleged militants hiding in residential homes. the directive prompted the afghan government to claim the u.s.-led occupation force has agreed to stop bombing residential areas and homes altogether, but u.s. officials say that the attacks will continue, now under stricter guidelines. there was widespread anger over the latest nato attack that killed 18 civilians, including nine children. general allen met with some of the families to apologize. >> a hand grenade was thrown. three of our people were wounded. we called for the people who were shooting to come out, and then the situation became more and innocent people were
killed. >> when our forces kill or harm afghan people, we are very said. i have come here today to offer my condolences and regrets, and importantly, to apologize to each of you for this tragedy. >> the new directive comes two years after david curious also issued new rules ever seen as a step to reducing civilian casualties. syrian forces have launched new attacks in one of its largest offenses in several weeks. activists say at least 30 people were killed. the attacks come days after u.n. monitors were in to reach the central province in the aftermath of a massacre. syrian forces had previously blocked monitors from the site,
feeling allegations that they were tried to hide the killings. >> what we saw were two homes. one was damaged, mainly from rockets, small and large caliber bullets, a wide variety of bullets. the old one was burned with bodies inside. you could smell the dead bodies and you could also see body parts around the village. >> government-backed forces in syria have killed more than 10,000 people during the year- long uprising, according to some. president obama to criticism from republicans over the weekend after saying the private sector was doing fine.
he was comparing the gain of 4.3 million jobs to the public sector's loss of 50,000 over the same period. on friday, obama clarified his stance. >> the economy is not doing fine. there are too many people out of work. the housing market is still weak, too many homes under water that is why i ask congress to take steps to make a difference. what i've been saying consistently over the past year, we have actually seen some good momentum in the private-sector. 4.3 million jobs created. 800,000 this year alone. record corporate profits. that has not been the biggest drag on the economy. >> while his comments drew widespread crew -- scrutiny, mitt romney drew far less attention after openly attacking the hiring of firefighters,
police, and teachers. from the invoked the recent election in wisconsin to criticize obama, hoping states regain public sector jobs. >> he wants to hire more government workers. we need more policemen and teachers. did he not get the message in wisconsin? the american people did. it is time to cut back on the government and help the people. >> eric holder has appointed two people to look into leaks on classified government programs. he announced the investigation after bi-partisan anger over reports revealing obama's secret kill list as well as the use of cyberweapons. in appointing the prosecutors, holder rebuffed calls to hold an independent counsel outside of his office's control. at a news conference on friday,
obama rejected the suggestions that the leaks may have come from his administration to bolster his re-election. >> the notion that my white house would purposely released classified national security information is offensive. it is wrong. i think people need to have a better sense of how i approach this office and how people are around me here approaches office. >> wildfires are continuing to spread across colorado, utah, wyoming. the high park fire in colorado has scorched more than 20,000 acres of land amidst high temperatures and high wind. 1300 people have been evacuated across the four states. 2012 continues to be the warmest
year on record in the u.s. according to the noaa, the spring has been the warmest of all time and last month was the second warmest may since record- keeping began. the average temperature for the 48 states was more than five degrees higher than 20th-century averages. new figures show this year's military suicide rate is on pace to reach a record high. the pentagon said there have been at least 154 suicides among active-duty troops the figure marks an 18% increase over the same period over a year ago. more u.s. soldiers have died by taking their own lives and have been killed on the battlefield. spain has agreed to accept a european union bailout. the move makes spain the fourth and largest european country to
accept emergency international aid as part of the sovereign debt crisis. details on the terms of the deal have been kept under wraps with no mention of new austerity measures. after the bailout was announced, demonstrators with spain's's indignado movement gathered in madrid to protest. >> we say this is a scam because the age of 94 the banks. it should be the citizens who are most affected by the crisis. i do not think they are doing as badly as the citizens. the crisis has its origins in the markets. >> 6 people have been killed in iraq, 38 wounded in a crowded bombing. hundreds of people rallied in the chilean capital of santiago on sunday to protest the screening of a new film honoring the late dictator augusto pinochet. the film drew a number of former ministers and army generals who
served under his regime. protesters came under support from supporters of the film who threw rocks, eggs, and red paint at the crowd. >> they are violators of human rights, and today this is the only response they have come to suppress us, to mistreat us. those who committed genocide are inside the theater. >> three were killed in auburn, alabama after an argument turned violent. two of the victims were members of the auburn football team. >> it is sickening that these young lives were cut short. also, the shooter is such a man. as a society, we need to learn the value of life again.
if i could bring them back to their parents, i would. unfortunately, i cannot do that. to the families of the victims, please let us know that we are sorry and agreeing with you. >> four people were killed in an apparent gang-related shooting in sacramento. a group of latin musicians has won a campaign for the grammy awards to reinstate the category of best latin jazz album, following its elimination last year. latin jazz was one of dozens of ethnic music that were cut by the recording academy. four artists filed a lawsuit last year claiming that the dropping of the categories had adversely affected their careers. the academy announced the reinstatement on friday. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
in a democracy now! special, we begin our show with a rare interview with the daughter of the cuban president raul castro. her name is mariela castro. she is best known for her ardent support of gay, lesbian, and transgender rights. mariela castro was recently granted a visa for a rare trip to the u.s. we had a chance to sit down with her last week at the cuban consulate, here in new york city. we spoke, not only about her work combating homophobia, but about her work on the cuban five. she calls on the u.s. to release five cubans jailed for spying on violent anti-cuban militants in exchange for u.s. citizen alan gross, who was arrested in 2009 and sentenced
to charges of subversion we turn now to my interview with mariela castro. i began by asking her what brought her to the u.s. mariela is translated by elizabeth cole. >> i presented my work at the congress of the nine american studies association which was held in san francisco last week. i was also invited by the world professional association for transgender help. >> talk about the work you were doing in cuba. >> i'm the director of the national center for sexual education, an academic center that is part of the ministry of public health. its mission is to accord with the national program of sexual education within multi disciplinary focus which coordinates different sectors. >> why have you chosen to make sensuality and the politics of sexuality your issue? you yourself or heterosexual,
married to a man, you have three children. >> this is the work my mother began with the federation of cuban women. professionally, i work with preschool children and asset -- adolescents. as i heard about the difficulties of the lgbt people, and began to sympathize with their problems. many couples to to come to counseling session with me, and as i listen to them, i started to study, to find tools to help them. >> you have come to the u.s. at an interesting time. president obama has just endorsed same-sex marriage, marriage equality. what are your thoughts about that? >> i think it is very valuable that the president of the u.s. speaks out publicly in favor of the rights of same-sex couples.
being the most powerful country in the world, what the president says has great influence on the rest of the world. >> yet we do not have across the board laws that says same-sex marriage is accepted. in cuba, you do not either. what are you doing in cuba to change the laws? >> in cuba, we are leading and educational strategy with the support of the media to promote respect for free and responsible sexual orientation and gender identity. we are also doing some advocacy with state institutions and civil society organizations so that they support this educational strategy. be on the educational strategy and a media strategy, we're also promoted legislative initiatives that supports the
same rights for homosexuals and transgendered people. for example, the family code recognizes the rights of these people and their possibility as couples, the legalization of their union as a couple. >> are you pushing for same-sex marriage in cuba? >> i am promoting marriage but it was not accepted by many groups of people. what we're negotiating is the legalization of consensual unions and that the legalization of these unions would guarantee, more than anything, their property rights, inheritance rights. >> do same-sex couples have the same economic rights as heterosexual couples? >> all rights are guaranteed for all people. there is no exclusion for lgbt people.
but where there is still not respect for their rights is a raw the guarantee that one member of a same-sex couple dies, the survivor be recognized as the person who should receive the inheritance, or even be allowed to enjoy the goods that they had enjoyed as a couple >> presumably, you have your father's ear, the president of cuba. how does he feel about making it fully equal between same-sex and heterosexual couples? >> he is convinced it is necessary, that is part of the product of full justice the cuban revolution proposes. >> is the support of like you are? >> he has been supported from before, when my mother was working on these issues peter abbottabad agai. >> what about gays and lesbians in the army? >> they cannot manifest it publicly, but they are there. >> if they made it known openly,
with a big kick out of the military? >> rules have become more flexible. of course, they were more rigid. i think all societies, policies and laws are becoming more flexible. the same will happen in the army. >> mariela castro, the daughter of raul castro. she will continue to talk about the cuban five and president after the break. [♪] >> mandinga - buena vista social [♪]
club. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we return to my conversation with mariela castro. i asked her about the cuban five, the five men convicted in 2001 for spying on violent anti- castro militants in the u.s. >> as part of the cuban population, i am committed to fighting for the liberation of the five cubans. in this case, four in prison and one it out on probation. really, they are serving severe sentences that to not correspond with the evidence. there is no evidence for such severe sentences. if they had been tried and justly, they would have already completed their sentences, and yet, they are still prisoners.
>> most americans do not even know who they are, why they are in jail. can you explain? >> it has been silent because it has been a political vendetta. cuba, since the beginning of the revolution, has been the victim of terrorist attempts, organized by groups in miami. cuban to have even confessed to be killers. they have confessed their crimes in books published and in interviews on tv but they have not been brought to justice. however, cuba has more than 5000 victims of state terrorism between the dead and wounded. thus, as a sovereign nation, we have the right to defend ourselves, and we do it
peacefully. how? infiltrating cuban people who identify with the revolution, infiltrating them into these terrorist groups to alert the cuban government as to when these attacks will take place, in order to thwart the a tense and depend our population. these terrorist groups enjoy great economic and political power in florida, and thus, judge woods were made that violate the laws of the u.s., and they were made in miami by totally partial judges who oppose the cuban war revolution. >> with the cuban government be open to a prison swap? the cuban five for alan gross, who had been in prison by the cuban government. >> the cuban government has expressed interest in finding a negotiated solution on humanitarian terms. of course, it is disposed to negotiate with the u.s., but it has not received any response.
>> cuban american congress members in the u.s. have condemned the obama administration for giving you a visa into the u.s. one congressman said that it is appalling that the administration is welcoming high level agents of the castro dictatorship on to u.s. soil while the cuban people are struggling for basic freedoms in the face of increasingly brutal repression. another says that mariela was part of a ruthless dictatorship that oppress the cuban people for more than half a century. she wants to spew the allies and propaganda of her family still regime and doesn't want to answer questions from a free and independent media. >> i am not going to respond to the mediocre, yellow press that she tries to impose on me, which
for 50 years, has spread lies about the cuban revolution. i also want to say that these cuban congress people that you mentioned, everyone in the u.s. in -- and cuba knows that they promote laws that violates the rights of americans to travel to cuba, and that limit the rights of cubans and descendants in the u.s., who are 1 20 million people, to travel freely to cuba to reunite with their families. these people are constantly promoting legislation that worsened the economic blockade, and with a revolutionary government of these more than 50 years, the cuban people have found freedom and full of justice. >> you have been allowed into the u.s. under the bush administration. >> my entered in 2002 for another conference in los angeles. >> what would a lifting of the u.s. embargo against cuba mean for your country?
>> in the first place, it would mean the government of the u.s. would begin to respect international law. would mean the beginning of the end of one of the worst human rights violations suffered by the cuban people because of the blockade. four q but, it would need access to development limited by the blockade. americans and cubans could meet in french ship without the mediation of these unscrupulous congress people who manipulate the policy of the u.s. towards cuba in service of their personal power and economic interest and not in function of the necessities of the cuban people, both within cuba and beyond. >> your father has been making a transition in cuba. can you talk about the changes that you think are most important for people in the u.s. to understand? >> one of the most important
changes is that the new economic and social strategy have been designed with the full participation of the cuban population, who are participating in the debates, both to question the reality, as well as to propose changes that should be made. >> there has been a lot of discussion over post-castro cuba. what do you think that would look like? >> the same, with the same strategy of socialist development, which is always looking for more efficient mechanisms to support social justice and national sovereignty. and also with the public figures. there are many people participating in cuba in all of the decisions. that would mean new faces in the media. for cubans, those faces would not be new. >> would you consider the presidency of cuba?
>> that job does not interest me. i like my job. >> there are other socialist governments in latin america, bolivia, for example, where there are elections. will cuba go in that direction? >> cuba has publicly expressed the mechanisms of what popular election will be and what is proposed is to protect them, not repeat what others do. >> to what would it look like? >> how we do it now is through mechanisms of popular elections. it is the people who nominate their leaders. term limits have been established, and the president, my father, is included in the term limits. this has been the result of a collective discretion to give opportunities to others so that they assume their responsibilities. in the mechanisms of control are being perfected so that the people have access to the
controls of the mechanisms of power. >> how is the help of your uncle fidel castro? >> i want to add, in cuba, we do not have the electoral campaigns. the leaders do not receive an additional salary and the legislators. they are still doing their job. positions of power in cuba do not generate economic interest in people. fidel looks like he is doing very well. he is an octogenarian, so he does not have the same vitality that characterized him his whole life. where there was a problem, he was with the people looking for solutions. he was with the people. fidel is now giving us the
privilege of his writings, the writing of history. there are things that only he knows and he's giving us a remarkable historical legacy which gives the people of cuba and spiritual strength. >> how did he manage to survive, i believe, more than 600 assassination attempts by the u.s.? at least hundreds. the cia documents many of them. >> i think it was many things. first, his charisma and sense of justice convinced even his executioners. above all, he was the leader of the cuban people, the maximum leader of the cuban people, and people have always protected him, but he is also a third world leader. in the country where he visited where they organize the attempts, mostly by the cia, the same population protected him. >> what is your assessment of president obama?
>> president obama represents an imperious government and policy. if you were to say to me, do you prefer him, would you like him as a president? i would say, for for a president of response to the interest of the american people, who protect the poor from the rules of the arbitrer rich. i have a personal impression that obama is a person who tries to be just. but while occupying the position of the presidency of the united states, it is very difficult to be tossed. however, i am a person likes to think positively, and i would like to think that obama, in a second term, will be a bit too human being and a better person. >> you mentioned issues of poverty and inequality. what is your assessment of the occupy movements in the united states? >> it's very interesting to me
how the american population has found new languages and forms of struggle, a new struggle to fight for their social demands. and they do it peacefully and with deep reasoning. i do not think they are against the government. they are against the policies that violate their rights. i kill admiration for the courage of these people. >> what would you like to see most change about the u.s.? >> i won the cuban side to go back to cuba and for alan gross to go back home. i want an end to the financial, commercial, an economic blockade that violates the rights of the cuban people, and a normalization of rights between the two countries. >> what would you most like to see changed about cuba? >> i want to see the socialist system strengthened with mechanisms that are always more participatory and democratic and that the sovereignty of cuba always be respected. >> mariela castro.
the most prominent champion of gay, lesbian, and transgender rights in cuba. she called on the u.s. to release the five cubans imprisoned here in the u.s., accused of spying. in exchange, she says tuition released alan gross. a u.s. citizen jailed in cuba. for more on the cuban five, we turn to the award winning filmmaker and author saul landau. i interviewed him last week when he came to new york. i started by asking him why he made the film. >> i was in to buy in 1960 as a student because i was curious to see how a guy was so disobedient, fidel castro, and his other revolutionaries would last. i did not think they could.
i went down there to check it out. i met people my age running government ministries, sleeping three hours a night, using more of their brain and i was using. i was impressed by people making history. like many other people who went down there at the time, this place seemed different. they were going to make a different kind of revolution, and it would have its impact. i think it did have its impact on the world. that is how i got there in the first place. pretty soon, i was working to stop the u.s. from invading cuba, like a lot of people that have gone down there. one of the first talks i gave was in new york city. after i came out, a guy tried to cut me in the back with a razor, a cuban exile. i think he took freedom of speech more seriously than i did. subsequently, i made a film with
fidel castro in 1968. the theatrical release was supposed to happen in new york in 1970 at the fifth avenue cinema. i think it would have happened if somebody did not put two bombs in the theater. that ended the opening in new york. then riverfront to open in los angeles. the day before the screening, the theater was burned down. it was declared arson and nobody was found in the case. the director of cuban studies agree to show the movie there, but then the center was bombed. 1973, new york city. i next encounter with the cuban terrorists was when my two colleagues were assassinated in washington, d.c. by cuban exiles working for the chilean secret police.
over the years, i have had my share of credible death threats. >the chilean ambassador in washington, that ever i first met him. i had invited him to come to the institute for policy studies, where i was working. he was done there even one year and he was blown up in his car on sheridan circle, three blocks from the white house. >> and you had been with him close to the time that he was killed? >> i had dinner with him on sunday night. he was killed tuesday morning. that night, my wife and i had come out of his house. i remember talking outside with our elbows on his car which was parked in the driveway, not
knowing there was a bomb underneath the car. >> do you think it was there at that point? >> according to the witnesses who testified, they had done this early saturday morning. >> but they had not used it until tuesday? >> yes, they missed him on monday it somehow. so they got him on tuesday. the assassins came from a cuban groups in northern new jersey called the cuban nationalist movement. sometimes they went under the name of the omega seven. the fbi infiltrated them and had no early on that they had been the actual perpetrators who did the actual thing under the auspices of the chilean secret police, who had ordered the killing. >> if they had infiltrated
before, when they have known about the threat? >> they found out afterwards. the assassination was on a tuesday. friday or saturday, their informant called up and said it was the cuban nationalist movement who did the job, and he named the people. and they were all arrested by the fbi very quickly. they were held in contempt for refusing to testify. then they were tried and convicted, three of them. two later were caught and convicted. two got out because the prosecution made a procedural error of y. it was at that point that one of
them looked at me and said, now we are going to get the rest of those sob's. i responded by holding my finger up. he advanced toward me very threateningly. the fbi had come between us. shortly afterwards, i was told i was on his target list. that he would put a hit on me. >> the award winning filmmaker, author saul landau we will come back to the conversation in 30 seconds. [♪] [♪]
>> mandinga - buena vista social club. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we return to our interview with saul landau. last about the relation between the u.s. and cuba. >> q but, in a sense, belongs in the guinness book of world records for disobedience. let me go back to a little story. in 2006, i was in cuba with gore vidal and the president of the california senate. he had just retired.
he was termed out of office. we were meeting with the person from the u.s. interests section in cuba, the equivalent of an embassy. burton asked the man from the intersection, with to cuba do to us again? the man answered, made by the human rights. he says, come on, the chinese killed thousands. the vietnamese killed thousands. they both have single party communist governments with sticking human rights records. so what to cuba do to us again? the man went on about him violating redo them violating human rights. but then again, what did they do to us? they were disobedient in our hemisphere and did not ask permission to take away property. they nationalized property.
the u.s. come on the one hand, has never forgiven them. on the other hand, it has hosted a strange kind of lobby. maybe after 1981. we had an anti-castro lobby in this country that was formed, in part, by the formation of a pact, who sort of taught them how to do it. -- aipac, who sort of taught them how to do it. they have the economic investment in cuba. is really investment is obvious. they do not have the product -- diplomatic solutions. the reagan white house asked the aipac people to help cuba through this. i do not think it was their own initiative. >> it is fascinating, anti- castro cubans that attempted to assassinate president reagan, as you show in your film.
>> they have used violence consistently over 50 years, even though it has not worked. if anything, the violence has helped consolidate fidel castro 's rule, and the subsequent government, but they continue to use it. if you ask them why they use it, they cannot tell you. if you asked orlando bosch why he was a violent, he says in the movie, he is crazy. another guy takes credit for all kinds of things. another simply denied that he did anything. >> explained to these men are. jose had been a caa agent from 1959. he was recruited. -- cia agent from 1959.
he also recruited the cia's top pick to kill castro over the years. he is in the film as well. anyways, both were working for the cia, and jose fired a cannon at a hotel in 1962 to prove that there were can -- and there were russians in the hotel. they had complained about the firing. he then formed an organization called brothers to the rescue which was made to save the lives of rafters of cubans after the soviets disappeared. he would review their positions to nearby ships. but when the u.s. and cuba signed a migration accord, he lost his mission because there were no more rafters. they were being picked up by the coast guard and being brought to
cuba. so he had a new mission to fly over cuba. the cubans got word that he would drop a weapon on them and they notified the u.s. of future overflights would be the clearest of consequences, meaning they would be shot down. he was told by the u.s. government that future flights would be very dangerous. in fact, the u.s. government sent a note to the federal aviation agency to take their licenses away. the head of the faa sent a note to miami saying, do not let them fly, take their licenses away, but the chief did not follow orders, so they flew. two of the three planes were shot down. pilots and copilots killed. >> one of them miraculously
escaped. >> that is right. clinton responded by signing a bill that tighten the embargo and codify it. he transferred power from the executive to congress, something that was really done in the 20th-century. >> you also mentioned luis. >> he and orlando had teamed up to knock down a cuban airliner, a passenger plane, which their agents successfully did over the islands of and barbados. the agents were caught and they rated on both. then there was a long judicial process where little happened. then one of them was freed in came to the u.s. president bush, the first, brought him in, despite
complaints from the justice department. do not let him in. he is a dangerous terrorist. >> i want to go to a clip of your film, "will the real terrorist please stand up?" >> this is the moment where the airline is hit. >> we have an explosion. we are descending immediately. we have a fire on board. >> are you turning into the field? >> this is cubana 445. we are requesting in the landing. close the door. close the door. it is getting worse.
crash landing into the trees. >> this is the cbs evening news with walter cronkite. >> nine days ago, a cuban passenger jet on route from barbados to havana crashed into the sea following an encore explosion. 73 persons, 57 cuban, were killed. killed. >> you are watching an excerpt from saul landau's phone "will the wilreal terrorists please sd
up?" so they blew up this airliner and eventually lived freely in miami pita yes, and we know from declassified documents that they had mailed them. posada told a cia official that orlando had all the information. we were going to get an airplane. i think we put all the information on the screen. the first thing they try to do was raise money from this event. it occurred to me that this might be the real motivation behind all this terrorism. how does blowing up an airplane change the government of cuba, or even placing a few bombs in hotels, or try to assassinate? the fact is, after all these terrorist acts, these guys go door-to-door, you heard what we
did lately? you have a nice store here, and they raise money. this is how they ended up making a living. otherwise, it makes no sense doing what they did. >> going on with the review with your film, the man who is the chief of staff of secretary of state colin powell, he talks about them. he says, clearly showed was the fact that the u.s. sponsors terrorism. there are overtones of osama bin laden and ayman al-zawahri, said the leadership of al qaeda. in the film, those two tell us, in their own words, that they seem to rejoice in it. >> that is who they were, their vocation.
ultimately, they became proud of it. osama bin laden's objective was to take power in the u.s. he had another motive for bombing the pentagon and world trade center. i think these guys did that hope to take power in cuba. they had another motive, to make a living. >> there were over 600 assassination attempts on fidel castro which the u.s. was involved with. >> the cia and u.s. coffman were involved with -- i do not know how many. there is pretty good documentation from the cubans. there were six of 28 attempts on his life. the cia were involved in more than half of them. >> why did they want him dead? >> in the u.s. government, it was not that as soon as he was gone, the cuban revolution would be gone, and they would get q but back, as they did before.
before the revolution, it was an economic colony of the u.s. the u.s. government felt a sense of loss, humiliation almost. who lost cuba? this was a discussion in the 1960's. who was responsible for losing cuba? eisenhower was blamed, kennedy was blamed. look at all those corporations that used to own the island. sugar companies. other huge corporations that had huge assets there, and they were all acts appropriated. >> they all work with batista, the former dictator. >> a brutal dictator. he killed over 20,000 over five years, practiced routine
torture. he was supported by the u.s. government until quite late in the game. >> this latest group of insurgents, how did the overthrow batista? >> castro and his group used guerrilla warfare, which they fought from several mountains, the two mountain ranges in the eastern province in cuba. then there was another group fighting from another knot range. they try to coordinate their activities with an urban revolutionary group that was also causing forces to put a lot of attention to them. they were creating sanitize, propaganda. batista, by 1958, was extremely unpopular. he had been a sergeant, not one of the old guard army people. he was not really in bed with
the old cuban aristocrats, did not owe them any loyalty. he was in bed with the mafia. he was on good terms with them with the gambling, prostitution, all that stuff. he did not feel any kinship with the upper middle class or aristocracy, many of whose kids were being picked up and tortured or killed. so he lost a lot of popularity. when the revolutionaries won, they won with overwhelming popular support, which did not last. as soon as the revolution show it was serious about class things, distributing well, the upper class moved out and went to miami. this was pretty much completed by 1960. the richest people have left the island. so tell us to the cuban five are. >> the cuban five were intelligence agents that were part of a larger web of
intelligence called wasps. 12 of them either got please or fled and got away. >> they were charged with what? >> caylee to file for an agent, false identity. the u.s. has never tried anybody for failing to register as a foreign agent because americans are doing that all over the world. they do not want to set a precedent for that. >> generally, they deport people? >> they arrest and deport people. the expect that to happen if in acans are caught foreign country, having infiltrated a terrorist cell. this is what this kind of intelligence is all about, and everyone understands it. false identification, of course you have it, or else you will be
known. so these are not serious charges. i mean, legally, they have penalties associated with them, but these guys were handed heavier crimes. conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder. these carry heavy sentences. the judge went overboard. she gave two life sentences plus 50 years. unheard of. some of the sentences, by the way, were reversed -- reversed by an appeals court and said it was ridiculous. if forced the judge to reduce them. one of them is now on parole in south florida. but he is not allowed to travel outside of south florida. anybody else would simply be deported and send back home. >> the other three, how many years do they still have to serve? >> one of them has a life
sentence. one will be out in about five years, another in about 10. >> so murderers and rapists get far more lenient sentences? >> yes, they have gone super maximum sentences. >> is there any deal being made behind the scenes to free the cuban five in exchange for -- q is too beholden that the u.s. would be interested in? >> the cubans, a man named alan gross, who was working as a contractor with a company that was contract with aid, the state department. their job was to promote regime change. it says so in the legislation, and they got the money to do this. his job was to set up dissidents with sophisticated satellite communication systems, including phones and laptops, that were not tractable and on
penetrable. i do not know if he was trying to keep the cubans from learning secret recipes. he says he is innocent, all of you tried to do was help the jewish community get better internet access. this was total nonsense data and that is what was alleged. >> hillary clinton still says he is innocent. even his wife now says he was guilty. >> hillary clinton said that he was just try to help the jewish community get access. >> why is his wife saying that he was guilty, did he have a pair -- a fair in prison? >> his defense has always been that he has been innocent. then there was an article in february of this year. somebody had leaked to him his trip reports which, maine. this was his fifth trip. in each one, he details how he
smuggles in the listed equipment using other jews, putting equipment in their backpacks which he then reassembled. and then he bought a sim card which made the system unusable. they could communicate with each other without the cuban official knowing. it was not to protect any months of all restaurants -- matzoh ball recipe. he has a track record. doing,know what whe was in terms of the open goal? i do not know. it is not relevant. he was violating cuban law. they got his laptop, last drives -- >> they followed him all through cuba so that they could track the people that he talked
to, ultimately arresting him before he went to the airport. >> after the first agent he spoke to, a state security agents masquerading as a religious person. that was it. the jewish community that he went to immediately call the cops on him. so alan was identified and the cubans followed him everywhere, the list of people he visited, and then all of his equipment. i think something that is possible -- how should i say it -- reciprocal humanitarian gestures were not possible. the cubans could free alan gross and president obama could free the cuban five. >> saul landau. he has made more than 45 films and written 14 books. many about cuba. democracy now! is looking for